Essay on dating in the 21st century

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All week we’d been texting, messaging and emailing. If, like me, you’re a ‘millennial’ (born between 19) you will have never known adulthood – or adult relationships – without a mobile phone. Instead of dating (an American term anyway) we might be ‘seeing someone’, ‘having a thing’, ‘hooking up’. ) let the rest of the world into our online world with gay abandon: you’d like to see 50 pictures of me on a bikini on the beach? If they’re keen, you’ll see each other; if not, they’ll plead prior plans. But at least one of you can end up feeling confused.

Yet even without an official ‘boyfriend’ there are normally several text conversations with potential beaus buzzing away on my phone.

I also tend to have a few guys on a low-level stalk on Facebook, and there’s always that frisson of excitement when an attractive man retweets one of my ‘LOLz-ier’ status updates. I wasn’t the only one of my girlfriends to leave early that night.

While this has led to dates, relationships and marriages around the globe, it has also been a boon for enterprising researchers — providing huge datasets chronicling real world behavior.

Psychological scientists have been studying attraction, love, and romantic relationships for decades, but online matching and speed dating have given researchers unprecedented opportunity to explore who’s attracted to whom and why.

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